Pat's association with the 453rd Bombardment Group began in late 1943 when the first Americans arrived at Old Buckenham. Eleven-year-old Pat, as he was then, quickly took to the USAAF servicemen and was soon adopted by the Ground Crew of "Hattie Belle" and "Sleepy-Time-Gal". Joe Mellie and John Tangora were the Crew Chiefs respectively of these aircraft.
Pat used to spend many hours at Old Buckenham during the War, usually hanging around Tangora's Shack from which many of his adventures began.
Pat's association with the 453rd was re-kindled when he became base contact for the Group in the late 1970's. He was able to reacquaint himself with many of the personnel that he knew during WWII.
With these friendships came artefacts, uniforms and a myriad of other items to add to those which had been generously given to Pat by his USAAF friends at the end of the War. Thus began the seeds of the 453rd Bombardment Group Museum.
James Clarey's association with Pat began in 1990. A friendship quickly formed from a mutual interest in the 8th Air Force and, in particular, the 453rd Bomb Group. Pat readily gave his spare time to reminisce about his Wartime exploits and also share his collection of photos and anecdotes with James.
The vast majority of the items on display come from the combined collections of Pat and James. They have been curated by James and the ceremonial opening of the Museum in November 2015 marked the first time that these extraordinary collections have been seen by the public. In addition, we are honoured to have been given uniforms, medals and other items by the families of veterans and these are proudly displayed alongside the main collection.
The 453rd Bombardment Group Collection has been assembled over the last seventy years by the late Pat Ramm and James Clarey.
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